Getting something out of social distancing

Some members of our society have been called to self-isolate and this could become a reality for all of us soon. Quarantine doesn’t have to be a bad thing though! Someone seems to have pushed the fast forward button in our lives so some slow time may be just what we need. Here are some ideas to ensure you get the best out of your quarantine.

Self-isolation doesn’t have to mean separation; it can mean connection. During this period, you must ask yourself, how can we come together as a society? Connect to your loved ones by writing a letter to an elderly friend such as grandparents, a neighbour, or simply to your local care home. Use the prompt below, taken from “Make Someone Happy”, the creative kindness journal!

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Do you remember all the online games you played during school? There are many apps and online games that allow you to contact your friends and entertain you all simultaneously. For me, and for others I am sure, calls are a scary concept. Challenge yourself to a call with a friend instead of messenger or video call them and chat over a cup of tea!

The harsh truth of self-isolation is that the marginalised members of our society will suffer the most from its consequences. How can we help these individuals? Will you be remembered for supporting others during this pandemic or for leaving them to suffer? Care for family, friends, and strangers by asking “how can I support you during this time?” through a message, a letter, or an online post.

Small businesses likely cannot handle the strain this pandemic will cause. Support them by checking if they take online orders or buying a gift card to be used at a later date. Similarly, food banks and homeless shelters will need your help and they will be grateful for whatever donations you can provide. Supporting small businesses and charities in this way is a privilege; sharing and liking small businesses or sending a supportive letter to a shelter is also a real sign of solidarity.

Enjoy time spent with a very important, worthy person (yourself)! Our generation has been preparing for self-isolation through our excellent binge-watching skills. Watch all the Netflix shows and movies currently on your list and ask your friends for more recommendations. Break up the TV time with books; return to your favourites or hold an online book club with friends and try new books together.

Use your hands to create something beautiful. Start an art project or simply spend time doodling on future birthday cards for your loved ones. Even better, try making gifts for your friends to share once the quarantine is over. If you have enough food resources, try baking something new to keep your sugar cravings satisfied.

Have you ever wanted to experiment with a new look but were too shy to share it with the world? This is your time to shine! Temporarily dye your hair that crazy colour; try a bold outfit and get comfortable in it. Are you an experienced TikTok-er, are you dipping your toes into this app, or does it still baffle you? I challenge you to join the trend and watch or create groovy dances and funny videos.

During this slower time, find ways to relax by learning yoga or starting a fitness routine through the help of online tutorials. Spend time meditating by an open window and practice mindfulness when you eat to keep you grounded. Being able to enjoy singular activities is a talent and requires practice. Close your eyes and listen to some new or old songs while appreciating the lyrics and music.

Lifelong learning is vital, in my humble opinion. Learn a new skill such as juggling or handstands or even a language! Sign language should be taught in all schools but since it isn’t, spend time learning this important language. Are you fluent in German but haven’t spoken it since your GCSE? Relearn your GCSE language so that you can truly say you are fluent!

Develop yourself by listening to inspiring podcasts and TED talks. Whilst you do so, keep a journal to reflect on your own growth. Research a topic that has always interested you such as feminism, racial injustices, sustainable lifestyles, and so forth.

Declutter your home and your life. Start your spring clean early and focus on removing the excess from your home. Before you bin your old clothes, you could try upcycling them with patches or paints! Do you have a ton of to-do items that you have been avoiding? Get them done and feel the weight lift off your shoulders. Decluttering can also apply to your Spotify; I have so many liked songs that I rarely listen to and you may be the same. Create new playlists for every mood and perhaps share them with a loved one to show them you are there for them during this difficult period.

I hope you find something to enjoy in this list and that you feel happy and connected during your quarantine days. Know that by self-isolating you are being a hero by slowing the spread of the virus and your society will thank you.

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